April 11/09 7:07 am - Pietermaritzburg MTB World Cup: Men's XC Updates
Posted by Editoress on 04/11/09
Men will do 7 laps
Lap 1: Up the climb for the 1st time, Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles) is leading. Julien Absalon (Orbea) is sitting 4th, Christoph Sauser (Specialized Factory Racing) 7th. It is a long line of riders moving very fast.
A big pile-up at the start took down a number of riders including Raphael Gagne (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles) who is chasing back on. Not so "lucky" is Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) who is out of the race with a trashed rear wheel.
Lap 2: As they start Lap 2, José Hermida (Multivan Merida Biking Team) has taken the lead followed by Julien Absalon (Orbea) and Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing). Christoph Sauser (Specialized Factory Racing) is at 1 second, Martin Gujan (Cannondale Factory Racing) at 2 seconds and Burry Stander (Specialized Factory Racing) at 4 seconds. Geoff Kabush has dropped to 20th at 45 seconds off the pace. Kris Sneddon sitting 94th and Raphael Gagne 104th.
Partway through the lap (up the climb), Sauser has taken over at the front, followed by Schurter, Vogel, Hermida, Absalon and Stander. Then a gap and it is Gujan, Jean-Christophe Peraud (Massi), Jaroslav Kulhavy and Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing). Kabush may be having a problem as he is now back in 30's
Lap 3: Up the climb: Hermida in the lead followed by Stander, Absalon, Schurter, Sauser and Peraud. At 20 seconds is a chase group of 4: Lukas Flückiger, Wolfram Kurschat (Topeak Ergon Racing Team), Roel Paulissen (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Martin Gujan. Kabush still well back in 30's
At the end of the lap Absalon has taken over at the front and has a 1 second gap on Hermida. Stander 3rd at 4 seconds, ,Sauser 4th at 24 seconds, Schurter 5th at 25 seconds. Kabush 32nd
Lap 4: Up the climb Absalon has attacked. Stander and Hermida are struggling to stay with him. Sauser and Schurter are next at 20 seconds but losing ground. Jean-Christophe Peraud is next at 35 seconds back.
At the end of the lap Hermida crosses the line first , but Absalon is right on his wheel. Stander 3rd at 5 seconds back, Schurter 4th at 37 seconds with Sauser at s.t. Kurschat 6th, Peraud 7th, Gujan 8th, Paulison 9th and Lukas Flückiger 10th. Kabush 32nd
Lap 5: At the end of the 5th lap, Hermida has taken over the lead with Absalon at 11 seconds back and Stander at 14 seconds. Sauser at 52 seconds and Schurter at 53. Kabush has moved up a bit.. into 30th.
Lap 6: Hermida looks good as he heads toward the climb. Absalon struggling in the heat? has Stander nipping at his heels.
Hermida now on the climb and continues to open the gap on Absalon which is now 15 seconds
Start of Final Lap: Hermida crosses at a time of 1:38:34 with a gap of 30 seconds on Absalon with Stander another 10 seconds off Absalon's pace. Sauser 4th at 1:11 and Schurter 5th at 1:12
Partway around, Stander is slowly reeling in Absalon. Gap now 8 seconds.
At the top of the climb, Absalon has closed the gap to Hermida and so has Stander. Schurter and Sauser are also closing in on Stander.
On the descent, Hermida is flying and has again opened the gap to Absalon
1 José Hermida (Esp) Multivan Merida Biking Team, 1:55:03
2 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea, at 0:32
3 Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing, 0:50
4 Christoph Sauser (Sui) Specialized Factory Racing
5 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team
6 Nino Schurter (Sui) Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing